If you are travelling to a non-UK country for planned medical treatment, you are not covered by your UK GHIC or UK EHIC. These certificates are for treatments that become medically necessary during your stay, and you cannot reasonably wait until you’re back in the UK to get it.
You may be able to apply to have planned healthcare funded by the NHS in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland through the S2 planned treatment route, if you meet the eligibility criteria.
The eligibility criteria are different depending on how you will access treatment:
The S2 planned treatment route
This is a direct funding arrangement between the NHS and the state healthcare provider in the country of your choice.
Some countries may require you to pay a proportion of the costs of your treatment.
To use the S2 route, you must get prior authorisation from NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) before receiving treatment.
Find out how to apply and who is eligible to follow the S2 route.
The EU directive route
This arrangement is between you and the NHS. Using this route means you'll have to pay the cost of your treatment abroad upfront and then claim eligible costs from the NHS when you return.
You can only apply for reimbursement for treatment that started or was approved before 11pm on 31 December 2020.
Find out how to apply and who is eligible to follow the EU directive route.